Housing sales may rebound in 2013

Housing sales may rebound in 2013

2012-12-30

from china daily  2012-12-29

BEIJING -- Industry observers say China's real estate sector is likely to pick up steam in 2013, as they expect increased housing sales due to growing market demand.

The anticipation, which comes amid reports of rebounding home prices and increasing housing transactions in some cities, suggests future complications in the government's campaign to rein in the country's runaway housing prices.

Despite strict control measures, many large property developers have reported good sales and an improved financial situation in 2012, said Zhang Dawei, a marketing director with the Centaline Group, a Hong Kong-based real estate company.

"It's likely they will regain their zeal for land purchases, helping the land market to climb out of the trough in 2013," Zhang said.

Surging housing prices have been a significant source of complaints in China. The government has implemented a string of policies, including bans on third-home purchases and property tax trials, to cool the real estate sector since early 2010.

But the property market has shown signs of warming in recent months, particularly after the central bank twice cut interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio for banks to buoy the economy earlier this year.

In November, 53 cities out of a pool of 70 major cities recorded higher new home prices than a month earlier, up from 35 in October, according to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Meanwhile, total housing sales surged 9.5 percent year-on-year to 5.35 trillion yuan ($850.83 billion) in the first 11 months, up from a rise of 5.6 percent seen in the January-October period, according to the NBS.

On Thursday morning, Xinhua reporters saw hundreds of people lining up outside a housing transaction center in Beijing's suburban Fengtai district. Many were there to make their housing purchases officially legal.

"Such large crowds were not seen earlier this year or even during the same period last year," said one of the center's employees.